CHAPS is a small non-profit working to connect humans and horses for a better quality of life. The benefits of equine therapy are abundant and provide people with a unique, meaningful experience each time they work with the horse. Being a prey animal, the horse is uber sensitive to the emotional environment and will provide real-time, honest feedback to what they sense. Brushing and grooming a horse is not only soothing to the soul, but it is a great exercise for working on fine/gross motor skills and working/flexing joints.
Being located in Wyoming, many of our seniors were farmers and ranchers all their lives, and we hope the ponies will bring fond memories to the surface. This is beneficial for several reasons: the memories spark stories and the stories can be told to anyone who will listen; social interaction and verbalization are beneficial for memory and recall; they may remember how to groom and talk to the horse providing the physical benefit of moving/using joints and improving motor skills. This program has not yet begun due to lack of funding. It is our hope that funding will come pouring in so we can serve our seniors living with dementia and/or Alzheimer's.
The lessons and drivin' has been great! I really look forward to comin' out to CHAPS. I've had health problems that don't seem to happen as much since bein' with the CHAPS
folks and all the horses. I sure appreciate this program. ~ Kent, Navy Veteran
I loved being part of CHAPS because even though I moved to Wyoming 3 years ago, my dream was always to ride a horse. CHAPS gave me the opportunity to begin to ride. The horse I started on was Bear and later I switched to Sureen. Sureen tested every inch of me, every week. Her testing and stubbornness made me stronger, more confident and more disciplined. Although I got to be in the rodeo long after I switched to Sureen, I rode Bear for the Jacket Drawing in the rodeo. Sophie and Sabre, the horse, plus her mom, Nicole, soon joined lessons with me. Sophie switched to riding Woody soon after joining lessons with me. Once we started trotting, a volunteer named Christa gave me the nickname Miss Trotty-Pants. Christina, my instructor, always encouraged me to get after Sureen for not obeying me. Teresa, the mother of Christa, always had a kind word and a smile for me. All in all, my experience at CHAPS helped me in a lot of ways. ~ Mazie, age 11, CHAPS client
The benefits of equine therapy are truly amazing. Having never been near or around horses and sufferening from combat post traumatic stress, I was skeptical; the horses have no agenda and you have to truly dig deep to gain solace and peace. The horses and therapists are a great tool on a path to normalcy. ~ R. Rodriguez, Army Veteran
Volunteering for CHAPS was something I undertook five years ago as a way to stay connected to horses in my adult life. My family had horses growing up and I never could get enough of the interaction with these amazing animals. Although that is the reason I began, CHAPS has become so much more than a way to connect to horses that I loved as a child.
CHAPS is truly a family of caring, kind & generous individuals that give of their time & talents because they love their work, whether it be as a volunteer or one of our amazing staff members. The clients I work with are equally amazing. I have been one of the volunteer helpers for Chloe & Rachel for several years now, it is such a joy to see their smiling faces and gregarious personalities every week. They are a pleasure to be around. I have also had the good fortune to volunteer with a veteran this year. Duane is an intelligent, kind & clever
person and a wonderful addition to the CHAPS family. I am pleased to be part of such a professional and positive contributor to the community. Many thanks to the CHAPS organization for enriching my life in so many ways, far beyond my love of horses… Cindy Trumble, Volunteer
CHAPS' mission is to provide high quality equine therapies to youth, adults and veterans with physical, mental, social and/or psychological disabilities.